A Tuesday hay fire in a storage shed apparently links to a trainee class of firefighters in the adjacent burn house building, Cleburne Fire Marshal Bill Wright said Wednesday.
Firefighters and trainees from Johnson County and surrounding areas frequently ignite hay bales in the cinder block burn building located on the training grounds of the Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 facility in Cleburne.
Firefighters training in the burn building earlier the same day inadvertently left behind or threw still smoldering hay out onto the asphalt surrounding the burn building after performing their practice exercises. Some of that smoldering hay blew across the asphalt into a storage shed filled with hay about 35 feet from the burn house and ignited, Wright said.
Cleburne and JCESD Engine 290 firefighters responded at 4:40 p.m. to the JCESD facility on Service Drive to find the storage shed fully involved.
JCESD officials noticed the hay shed fire about 30 minutes after the trainees left.
Initial attempts to knock the fire down proved unsuccessful because of the amount of hay inside the structure.
Firefighters then cut away at and removed siding from the shed to vent the building and allow the hay to burn faster. Firefighters halted their interior attack once the shed’s support beams began to sag and decided to let the hay burn out at that time.
Several hours later, the fire had consumed most of shed’s 750 bales of hay and firefighters had expended about 5,000 gallons of water.
Cleburne Engine 2 firefighters spotted a grass fire at 5:36 p.m. Friday while returning to their station from an unrelated call. Two brush trucks arrived and extinguished the “slow-moving” fire with about 125 gallons of water. The fire caused no damage and remained at least 400 yards from any structure. Reports list no cause for the fire.
Firefighters responded to a report of smoke at 5:53 p.m. Tuesday in the 1700 block of Brookhaven Drive to find smoke emitting from a culvert running beneath the road. Firefighters stomped out the embers of a few smoldering sticks on the dirt surface and cleared the scene.